Course Description

  • Description:

    Fulfills Upper-Level Elective for LCS Major and Minor
    Fulfills Upper-Level Elective for History Major and Minor

    As a population, Latinas/os have been prominent in the public sphere in popular culture, the media, and especially around discussions of immigration. Though people of mixed Spanish-Indian-African ancestry (who may be described as “Latinas/os” or “Hispanics” today) explored the lands of present-day Florida and New Mexico long before English colonizers reached Plymouth Rock, Latinas/os are continually seen as foreigners, immigrants, and “newcomers” to American society. This course aims to place Latina/o populations in the United States within historical context. We begin by asking: Who are Latinas/os in the U.S. and how did they become part of the American nation-state? Why are they identified as a distinct group? How have they participated in American society and how have they been perceived over time? The course will familiarize students with the broad themes, periods, and questions raised in the field of Latina/o History. Topics include
    conquest and colonization, immigration, labor activism and unionization, education, politics, popular culture, and social movements. The course emphasizes a comparative approach to Latina/o history aiming to engage histories from the Southwest, Midwest, and Eastern United States and across national origin groups—Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Central Americans, and South Americans. Throughout the course, we will analyze concepts of race, class, gender, nation, ethnicity, and sexuality as we explore primary and secondary sources.

  • Learning Goals:

    Upon completion of the course, students will:

    • become familiar with the main themes of Latino social, political, and economic history
    • understand the origins and causes of large-scale migration and incorporation of Mexicans, Dominicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and other Latinos
    • understand the complex and varying racializations of Latinos in the US as well as consider gender, sexual, class, and ethnic identities
    • analyze the characteristics of Latino community formation processes.
    • distinguish between distinct regional Latino experiences within the US
    • understand Latino labor history and the significance of Latino migrant/immigrant labor to the US economy
  • Required Reading:

    Omar Valerio-Jimenez and Carmen Whalen, eds. Major Problems in Latina/o History (Cengage, 2015). [ISBN #978-1-111-35377-3]

    Additional readings and materials are in Canvas.

    Consult Rutgers Barnes & Noble for current books for the course.

  • Evaluation:

    Attendance and Class Participation = 25%
    Three Papers (4-6 pages) (15% each) = 45%
    Final Take-Home Exam = 30%

  • Credits: 3
  • SAS Core Certified: HST, WCD
  • Disclaimer: The information in this course description is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (e.g. Canvas).